Tuesday, October 02, 2012
The Great Pig Breakout
Anytime a new animal comes on board, there is a certain amount of chaos and the settling in period is usually stressful for everyone, including the farmers.
Yesterday was such a day. If it hadn't been so amusing - I kept imagining it as a Cary Grant movie - I would have sat down and cried. After several break outs, Lucy finally found the apple orchard and once she knew there was an apple orchard, well, that's when the fun really began..
In all fairness to Big Pig, she is at a new home, without her group of pigs, she is in heat, and she is big. Really big. She's smart, really smart. And she's just trying to figure it all out.
She is personable. When she breaks out, I think it is to genuinely see what's on the other side, and check the farm perimeters. She cruised down to the lavender field but came a running when I called. She genuinely likes people, and likes me. I led her back to her paddock but she cruised into the orchard and...well, you can watch the movie. Rather than panic, I decided it was best to just go with the pig flow, and capture it on film. Eventually I put her in a stall which she broke out of but I reenforced it and managed to keep her in all afternoon while I made changes to the fence and added hot wire to the side she kept getting out of.
She went out and made it through the night, but as we lay in bed at 6AM Martyn heard wood breaking, and then I heard grunts outside my window, some 300 feet from the pig paddock.
I lay in bed and called out, "Big Pig?"
"Grunt, snort" Lucy replied.
I must confess that seeing her large mass outside the window was sort of cool, even if I knew in a matter of minute she could wallow into any area and ruin fences.
She's a steam roller.
So back I went to do more fixes to the fence, and then I had to leave the farm for a riding lesson. As I drove back up the drive 2 hours later, I kept looking for a large brown mass - but she was still in her paddock. The wire had held her...and as I write she is still inside her area.
The Dirt Farmer and I will once again work on the fence this weekend, and bring in pig panel and even more hot wire. The thing is, I really like Big Pig. And I always think of Paco and how long it took for him to settle, and I almost gave up. But I'm so glad I didn't.
So Lucy had a bad day, but in some ways it was fun to be part of it. A good glass of red wine at night and I can take anything.